Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has assured that as the government’s shareholder representative in State-owned public utility Eskom, she will work closely with the board to ensure that Eskom remains stable following the resignation of its chief executive officer (CEO).

Reacting to the resignation of CEO Brian Molefe on Friday, Brown said over the weekend that she was saddened by the resignation, but respected his decision. “I am confident that Mr Molefe leaves a strong executive team in place to continue to deliver on Eskom’s mandate and implementation of the turnaround strategy.”

On Friday, Molefe announced that his resignation would be effective Jan 1, 2017. Molefe said his decision to step down followed the publication by former Public Protector (Ombudsman) Thuli Madonsela’s report into alleged “State capture” — the wielding of undue influence on the government and its agencies by a private family.

Molefe, however, said his resignation was not an act of admission or wrongdoing on his part but rather because he felt it was the correct thing to do in the interest of the company and good corporrate governance.

Wishing him well for the future, Brown said Molefe had been instrumental in developing Eskom’s turnaround strategy, which is beginning to yield positive results. She said it was disappointing that that he would not be present to see it to complete fruition.

“He leaves the company at a time when Eskom’s mid-term results showed an improvement. The mid-term results, released last week, showed that Eskom’s liquidity improved; revenue increased by 10.5 per cent year-on-year to 97.1 billion Rand (about 6.93 billion US dollars); the accelerated maintenance programme improved plant availability from 71.23 per cent to 78.50 per cent; unplanned breakdowns improved from 14.75 per cent to 9.72 per cent, and we have had 460 days without load shedding.”


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